Diaspora Dialogues

The Diaspora Dialogues bring together leaders of all ages across the many different diasporas of the world.

This inter-generational and inter-diaspora gathering is timely and powerful. Because it is when leaders of all generations collaborate that intelligent practical action gets most traction in our modern world. And because, if the many different global diasporas learn between each other, and combine their efforts they can be ever more effective bridge builders in our complex world. 

The Diaspora Dialogues are convened by Common Purpose and will take place over the coming years right across the world. Dialogues will be pop up in nature, taking place when Diaspora leaders see the need and offer to host them.

The Diaspora Dialogues emerge from Armenia home of one of the most extensive, effective and committed diasporas in the world. The small founding Diaspora Dialogue was hosted in Armenia in October 2017.

Chipo Chung, Actor and Activist, Participant, Zimbabwean Diaspora Leaders Programme

"The process is a great gift to diaspora communities, enabling us to pool our greatest resource - ourselves".

Why now?

  • Diaspora leaders are so often innovators, but ideas do not always flow between diaspora.
  • Many diaspora leaders are natural bridge builders who can help to counter the forces of fragmentation in the world.
  • The increasing number of young people who are diaspora want to work with confident, successful, diaspora leaders of all ages who manage to bridge worlds.
  • People from diaspora are uniquely qualified to help us survive another great era of global migration without irreparable division.

Who takes part?

Leaders of all ages who are familiar with operating in multiple cultures and geographies. Leaders who connect global and local, having spent their lives with their feet in multiple places. Leaders who are natural interpreters, communicators and bridge builders. Leaders who are uniquely valuable in a world that is becoming more fragmented.

We are looking for diaspora leaders:

  • with multiple geographical or cultural identities, who contribute to multiple societies
  • interested in more than themselves. They will have made things happen for the benefit of others
  • who “pull up their sleeves”, get stuck in, and are not interested in hierarchies nor flattery. They are impressed and inspired by what other people do.
Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick, CBE, Chancellor of Regent’s University London

“The concept is of its time and reflects the misalignments in our world that are more than threatening if not addressed rightly.” 

The Inaugural Diaspora Dialogues Programme 2017

Participants of the Diaspora Dialogues discussed the challenges they face sharing stories from their diverse backgrounds and experiences of multiple cultures and geographies. They represented education, business, philanthropy, innovation, civil society and humanitarian organizations.

What happens at the Diaspora Dialogues?

Through a dynamic and well tested process called ‘innoventure’ the participants exchange ideas, strategies and inspiration. There are no ‘speakers’ in the traditional sense because participants themselves provide the content. They share their knowledge and experience as part of the carefully curated process. There are two guiding themes:

  • practical action – participants share with one another concrete examples of diaspora initiatives and examine the success factors, pitfalls and lessons learnt. From this they can help each other to develop their ideas or co-create new ones.
  • thought leadership – participants exchange their experience of walking the delicate line between different worlds and becoming bridge builders.

The innoventure process provides balance, avoiding the intrusive while providing a thread that will weave through the discussions. This way there is a clear focus which will deliver practical actions. And of course it allows space for the unexpected so other ideas can emerge without derailing the process.

The outcomes

The inaugural Diaspora Dialogues were held in Armenia, 8–10 October 2017.

If you are interested in future Diaspora Dialogues, please contact us.

Alison Coburn

+44 (0) 7852 914670